The Oberlin Review

Education, Dialogue Needed to Address Gendered Violence

Colin Roshak

April 13, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Around this time last year, while walking through the Conservatory after class, I came across a note taped to the wall. The note, scribbled messily across a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, accused a Conservatory student of rape. I’m still struck by the rawness of this image. My mind raced and my heart sank into my stomach as I looked at the note hanging from the dull matte walls. This was a stark and necessary reminder that — while we may not want to admit it — sexual violence very much exists in the Conservatory. I had never thought about how issues of sexual violence and misconduct might exist in the Conservatory. This rea...

Oberlin Orchestra Balances Kondonassis’ Energetic Solo

Colin Roshak

November 20, 2015

More than a hundred years since its premiere and after countless performances, Igor Stravinsky’s iconic and provocative ballet The Rite of Spring still resonates today. Conductor Raphael Jiménez and the Oberlin Orchestra transported their audience from Finney Chapel to ancient pagan Russia with their riveting performance last Thursday. Before delving into Stravinsky’s primordial fantasy, Jiménez first joined forces with Assistant Professor of Harp Yolanda Kondonassis for Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. Kondonassis’ musical presence and intensity were not overshadowed by the orchestra. The first movement of the piece was dominated by a syncopated and energetic four-note theme. Kondonassis played with pri...

Tetzlaff Receives Ovation After Energetic Recital

Colin Roshak

November 6, 2015

German violinist Christian Tetzlaff presented a daunting program of over 90 minutes of works for solo violin last Friday. This was no easy feat, but Tetzlaff was up for the challenge. He strode confidently onto the stage, greeted by enthusiastic applause, and wasted little time delving into the music. The program featured Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major and three modern pieces that demonstrated Bach’s influence on later composers. Tetzlaff’s rendition of the sonata was charming and entirely organic. Each phrase flowed seamlessly into the next, aided by an impeccable sense of rubato. The second movement was the centerpiece. Tetzlaff delicately balanced the intertwining subjects above well-struck harmonies. In...

Pianist Ran Jia, who studied at the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como, plays Schubert’s tension-filled Sonata in C Minor. She performed at Finney Chapel last Sunday along with two other Lake Como pianists, Alessandro Deljavan and Marcos Madrigal.

Oberlin-Como Partnership Starts on a High Note

October 2, 2015

This year marks the beginning of a new partnership between Oberlin Conservatory and the International Piano Academy Lake Como. William Naboré co-founded the program in 2002 to provide intensive training to some of the best young pianists from around the world. The new partner-ship establishes an exclusive U.S. hub for the Italy-based program and will allow two students, chosen from international applicants, to participate in a two-year artist diploma program. This past Sunday, three pianists from...

Soprano Delivers Heartfelt, Varied Performance

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

September 18, 2015

I’ve reviewed a fair number of concerts during my time at Oberlin, but not one has left me as inspired and touched as I was this past week. Soprano Anne Gross graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 1986; since then, she has traveled and performed around the world. Pianist Thomas Bandy, an opera and vocal coach at the Conservatory, joined Gross to give the most riveting and intimate recital in recent memory. The program was fairly standard; Gross sang five sets of four songs, each in a different language. Standard, however, did not mean unremarkable in this case. Gross began with a French set by Francis Poulenc. From the dramatic opening lines of the first song, Gross retained the audience’s unwavering attention,...

Lu Delivers Masterful Chopin Performance

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

September 11, 2015

Since graduating from the Conservatory in 2006, pianist Tian Lu has traveled around the world honing her craft. This past week, she returned to Oberlin to perform a recital consisting entirely of works by the influential Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Lu received her undergraduate degree as well as Artist Diploma from the Conservatory under the tutelage of Professor of Piano Monique Duphil and her master’s degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Boris Slutsky and Leon Fleischer. Chopin’s works, all 230 of which include piano, contain some of the most technically demanding yet haunting beautiful music in the standard repertoire. Although trained in the style of...

Sinfonietta Performs 20th-, 21st-Century Pieces

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

May 8, 2015

After a year of memorable performances, the Conservatory’s Sinfonietta ensemble concluded with an inspiring and varied program directed by Timothy Weiss this past week. The concert began with a piece titled “Planos” by the Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas which was scored for piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, cello and bass. The piece began with strong chords and an energetic dotted rhythm motif on the piano. The piano’s moving lines contrasted sharply with the placid winds and walking bass line. Much of the piece worked within this contrast of precise rhythmic intensity above slower-moving, spacious soundscapes. As the music developed, different characters became more obvious:...

Student, Faculty Bruch Concert Proves Emphatic

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

April 10, 2015

It’s not very often that Conservatory faculty members take the stage alongside their students, but when they do, it’s sure to be a memorable concert. This past Saturday, Associate Professor of Viola Michael Strauss and Associate Professor of Clarinet Richard Hawkins joined the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Max Bruch’s Double Concerto for Clarinet, Viola and Orchestra. Alongside Bruch’s piece was Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C major. The two masterpieces proved to be a thrilling combination. Bruch composed the Double Concerto in 1911, and it is one of his only compositions that holds a place in the classical canon. Often, the first movement of a concerto consists of a lengthy introduction...

Composition Majors Present Cumulative Work

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

April 3, 2015

Musicians often fill Warner Concert Hall with classical and romantic masterpieces. Occasionally, the Contemporary Music Ensemble will offer some variety, but very rarely is Warner home to a concert of completely original and truly contemporary works. This past Wednesday, members of the Oberlin community were treated to a welcome change of pace: the second of three year-end concerts featuring newly composed pieces by Conservatory Composition majors. While the performances adhered to very traditional instrumentation, the music that was presented was far from normal.   First on the program was a piece for solo piano titled Bear. The piece, written by Conservatory first-year Gabriel Hawes and performed by doubl...

Conservatory senior Ben Roidl-Ward performs as part of the Contemporary Music Ensemble. Roidl-Ward took center stage as a featured soloist in Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings at a concert in Warner
Concert Hall this past Friday.

CME Performs Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings

March 13, 2015

Shouts of “bravo” rang through Warner Concert Hall this past Friday as Conservatory senior and bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward played the final punctuating notes of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings. The concerto was programmed alongside the remarkably beautiful Snow Requiem by Aaron Helgeson, OC ’05, and Jonathan Harvey’s Wheel of Emptiness. Tim Weiss and the Contemporary Music Ensemble gave one of the most inspiring and stunning concerts of the year. The bassoon is a not ...

Professors Shed Light on Chamber Music Experience

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

February 27, 2015

As an ensemble, soloists and professors Amir Eldan, Haewon Song and David Bowlin are a force with which to be reckoned. On Wednesday Feb. 18 the Oberlin Trio — comprised of the cellist, pianist and violinist, respectively — offered a dynamic and powerful performance that showcased works by Haydn, Shostakovich and Dvorak. The trio, which performs throughout the year and was included as part of the chamber music intensive during Winter Term, gives students a fresh perspective on the musical capabilities of their teachers and chamber coaches. Furthermore, students can better grasp what it’s like to perform with a professional chamber ensemble by watching their own instructors cohesively engage in aesthetically unique...

A select handful of top Conservatory students perform at the Danenberg Honors recital. The annual concert took place at Warner Concert Hall this past weekend.

Conservatory Musicians Shine in Danenberg Recital Series

February 20, 2015

Some of the Conservatory’s most accomplished performers treated audience members to masterworks of the Western canon juxtaposed with bold contemporary compositions at the Danenberg Recital this past weekend. The recital exhibited the Conservatory’s breadth, including everything from atmospheric noise by a TIMARA major to a classical pianist’s expert rendition of a Romantic piece by Frédéric Chopin. The annual concert began with a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fugue in E-flat Major. Conserva...

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